Popular NBA reporter and television analyst, Sekou Smith has died after a battle with COVID-19. He was 48.

Smith, who worked for Turner Broadcasting, where he appeared on NBA TV and hosted The Hang Time Podcast died on Tuesday night, January 26.

“The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family. Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

“Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him and it always shined through in his work.” he added

Smith, who started his journalism career with The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson also covered the NBA for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Indianapolis Star. 

He starred across all platforms for Turner, serving as an analyst for NBA TV, a writer for NBA.com and a host of the Hang Time Podcast.

Turner Sports released a statement that read, “We are all heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing. His commitment to journalism and the basketball community was immense and we will miss his warm, engaging personality. He was beloved by his Turner Sports and NBA friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”

“Sekou Smith was the very best of us,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Twitter. “Smart. Funny. Unflinching. Full of good. A lot of days and nights on the road with him ? Bubble, Finals, Olympics, wherever ? and always this: Photos of his kids playing ball, or graduating, or leaving for college. Godspeed, my friend.”

Added Shams Charania of The Athletic: “Hard to process. An impeccable human being. Rest In Peace, Sekou Smith.”

Smith is survived by his wife, Heather, and their three children, Gabriel, Rielly and Cameron.